Story by Trends Publishing
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Various Armstrong ceiling systems were introduced as features, as wayfinders, and to dampen acoustics in the new Fonterra building
While expansive architectural structures can be striking, ensuring they are fit for purpose requires customised solutions. Through collaboration and some out of the box thinking, Fonterra has created an award-winning new building in Auckland which provides its staff with productive work spaces, without compromising on design.
One of the greatest challenges when designing open-plan commercial buildings of a large scale is ensuring the workplace ambience and performance are given equal weight in the design.
Expansive surfaces like ceilings are major factor. Getting these right can be the difference between creating a productive workspace or creating a workspace with poor acoustics, where even every-day conversations become challenging.
So in the design phase for Fonterra's new head offices, architects Jasmax collaborated with Forman Building Systems from the outset to create a ceiling system which would ensure a productive working environment in keeping with the design aesthetic.
The specifications included some design flare like metal ceilings in the foyer, perforated acoustic metal ceilings in the open plan office space and Armstrong Ultima acoustic ceiling pods between concrete beams in various floors.
The brief to Forman was to offer a comprehensive range of tailored solutions to the various interior spaces of the building, each fulfilling a particular function and hence requiring specific acoustic and design performance.
Perhaps one of the most striking examples of Forman's ability to deliver solutions to this brief can be seen in the vast foyer that surrounds the central atrium on the ground floor level. Making a good first impression was important, so Armstrong MetalWorks Open Cell was selected to create an eye-catching metal ceiling. This on-trend industrial look was achieved by installing Armstrong 15mm Suprafine grid, which is hidden from the eye to create the illusion of a continuous ceiling plane.
While this clever ceiling solution was adopted in the foyer, the architect and client wanted to create visually striking acoustic ceilings in other areas of the building. However the challenge with these ceilings was to find a solution which was easily demountable to allow access to services for the maintenance team. As these particular areas house a number of staff, a high level of acoustic treatment was also required.
The team at Forman tackled this challenge by first installing a primary plasterboard ceiling to hide the services. Several acoustic access panels were installed in the plasterboard ceiling to allow Fonterra's team to service these areas as required. A secondary ceiling was then installed directly over the plasterboard ceiling, further enhancing the acoustics in these spaces
Armstrong's MetalWorks One Way Hook-On perforated metal ceiling was selected for this design. The Hook-On system offers a great level of demountability and, thanks to its suspension system, large panel modules can easily be installed.
In addition to this, Armstrong's MetalWorks Perforated Metal Tiles were selected in a 13.50m-long format and installed in linear formation. The tiles easily unhook and swing down for access to the service space.
Three types of perforated metal tiles were chosen and installed in pre-arranged patterns to help delineate areas of use in the large spaces. The innovative aspect of this solution was using different size perforations to achieve different aesthetics, so an overall look and feel could easily be achieved.
In other areas of the fit-out, Forman's team opted for Armstrong Ultima Acoustic Ceiling Pods – floating acoustic ceiling pods which were installed between the concrete ribs in the roof. They combined Armstrong Axiom aluminium perimeter sections, Armstrong PeakForm grid and Armstrong Ultima rebated edge tile, as Ultima is a high performance tile that offers a sophisticated look and is extremely durable.
Another feature of the ceiling solutions was the use of the Armstrong 150mm by 150mm Aluminium pelmet. Installed around the perimeter of various floors, this creates separation between the window façade and the various ceiling systems. The Armstrong pelmet is designed to be used in conjunction with plasterboard ceilings and exposed grid ceilings. It's easy to install and conceals fixings to provide a visually superior finish when compared with most on-site fabricated options.
The customised solutions Forman delivered to this project have contributed to an impressive well-functioning space and environment for staff.
For details, contact Forman Building Systems, phone (09) 276 4000. Website:www.forman.co.nz
First published date: 04 November 2016